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Goa Revolution Day: Lesser-known facts about the uprising & its heroes

Goa Revolution Day: Lesser-known facts about the uprising & its heroes

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Goa Revolution Day is celebrated on June 18 every year. It was on this day in 1946 that the people of the region started a mass revolution to take back their homeland from the Portuguese.

Goa Revolution Day: Lesser-known facts about the uprising & its heroes

Goa Revolution Day, one of the most defining events in the history of the state, is celebrated on June 18 every year. It was on this day in 1946 that the people of the region started a mass revolution to take back their homeland from the Portuguese that finally culminated in the region’s independence on December 19, 1961.

Also known as 'Kranti Din', Goa Revolution Day is observed to recall the acts of valour and sacrifice of freedom fighters who fought for the liberation of Goa.

How did it start?

The Goa Revolution started with a civil disobedience movement against the  Portuguese rule on June 18, 1946, at Margao by Dr Ram Manohar Lohia and Dr Julião Menezes.

Who were Lohia and Menezes?

Menezes was born in Assolna and studied in Goa before going to Berlin University in the 1920s to study medicine. He met Lohia, who hailed from Akbarpur in Uttar Pradesh, at the university. The two took active part in the Indian Students’ Union in Berlin. While Lohia returned to India after his PhD in 1933, Menezes returned after completing his MD in 1938.

The two stayed connected and Menezes is said to have offered Lohia refuge when he went underground during the Quit India Movement.

When Lohia fell sick

When Lohia fell ill in 1946, Menezes invited him to convalesce at his Assolna home in Goa. Soon after Lohia arrived on June 10, 1954, a number of political activists visited him to discuss the colonial situation in Goa.

Start of the movement

Lohia and Menezes decided to defy the ban on public meetings imposed by the Portuguese government, sparking the first civil disobedience movement in Goa.

On June 15, 1946, the two addressed a gathering at Panjim. The police were posted at the spot but did not intervene in the meeting.

Following the success of the meeting in Panjim, the two came to Margao square on June 18 and were welcomed by a massive crowd. Addressing the crowd, Lohia and Menezes gave a clarion call to shake off the Portuguese rule and create an independent Goa.

The two were arrested and taken to Panjim police station where Lohia was kept in solitary confinement. Later, Lohia was released from prison and deported to British India.

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